I am currently involved in an online Bible Study on Proverbs 31. I thought I would share my latest study thoughts.
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
The Industrious Woman
She considers a field, and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
My first thoughts when I read through this verse was that she was an industrious woman who used her mind and hands for the benefits of her family but as I started to think some more I saw that she was more than just productive.
- She had a plan, she was intentional.
- She was prepared, she was ready to seize opportunity
- She was strong and capable, able to do the work
- She had was dedicated, and saw the project to the end
She had a plan
She considered this field – I don’t believe the purchase of this field was a quick impulse decision. She considered before she bought. This means she thought about it, she had a plan – a business plan, she had a purpose for this purchase. I know from personal experience that when you start to devise such a plan that it consumes your thinking, your mind is fixated upon it. It is during this time that many of the ‘bugs’ are ironed out and your objectives become clearer.
She was prepared
Now, I have a suspicion, that this lady considered these things for a long time, long before this field came on the market. I don’t have any biblical proof for this but a good plan is a generally a plan that has substance and foundations. She was prepared ahead of time to take on this project.
- She knew how to do business, possibly even write up a business plan.
- She knew the market, and what would make a fair price.
- She knew about the vineyard business – where to buy stock, how to grow a vine, and what to do with produce.
- She had the funds (from the profits from other ventures)
She had this all thought out.
When the opportunity arose for her to go ahead with this idea she was ready. We see the word “buy” and there are images of going to a Real Estate office and making a transaction. But this lady wanted this field so badly she seized the opportunity, there was a sense of urgency – the time was right!
She was strong
This woman did the work herself. I’m not sure she did it by herself but she was involved. Up till this point her work was head work, the dreaming, planning, organizing but now it required hard work. She didn’t shy away from doing hard stuff.
You don’t just become strong over night (or with the purchase of a field). No, she was strong because she kept herself busy and active – fit and able. Her body was able to do the physical tasks she set before herself.
She was dedicated
When I plant a veggie garden it is a bit of a hit and miss affair. But the word that is used for this vineyard is that she established a vineyard. Established means that it happened, it was a success. A successful, established vineyard produces fruit. It takes 2-4 years for a vine to produce a crop but then, a healthy vine will produce more and more each year – for up to 70 years. This was a long term project and she stuck it out.
Lessons to learn today
She considers a field, and buys it:
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Consider your life
We need to consider each aspect of our life:
- our relationships
- our responsibilities,
- our talents, and
- our mind.
What does God want for each of these areas in our life?
How can we use each area for God’s glory?
God has given us a mind for thinking and a body for doing. We need to take the knowledge of what God wants and put it into action in our lives. This makes us intentional and purposeful, with a plan, just like Prov 31 lady.
But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves.
Are we prepared?
Though we don’t know all that God has install for us we need to prepare ourselves the best way we can.
· Develop your relationship with God – spend time in prayer
· Know the Word of God
· Recognise your gifts and talents and spend time developing them
· Keep your physical body strong, ready for anything
· Live your life without regret so your reputation is untainted, and not a hindrance for the things God asks us to do
· Hold onto your plans lightly – be available to God
We need to be committed. God never promises that life will be easy but He does promise a helper, the Holy Spirit. We need to determine in our heart, which way we will go – will we serve God or will we serve ourselves. God’s plans are very rarely short term – He has an eternal perspective, much bigger than we can comprehend. He doesn’t ask us to understand it though, He does ask us to trust Him (long term)
Trust the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
We may not go out and buy a field, we may not plant a vineyard, or even have a home-based business, but our life can be intentional, productive and industrious – we need to trust God, and walk with Him. We have to be ready to seize the day, seize the opportunities God puts in front of us.